The YMCA of Metro North celebrated its third annual “Where in the World” fundraiser this past Saturday, September 28th at the Torigian Family YMCA in support of youth development. The gymnasium at the YMCA in Peabody was transformed into an international backdrop, where over 300 people dined on a variety of cuisine donated from local restaurants, enjoyed a dance performance by the Lynn YMCA dance teams and bid on an array of live and silent auction items. The event, led by organizers David Gravel of GraVoc and Kathleen Walsh of the YMCA of Metro North, raised a record setting $180,000. These funds will provide the YMCA with the necessary resources they need to help ensure that every child and family in financial need has the ability to attend the YMCA.
“This event was a chance to showcase the Y’s work to those in attendance as well as to support our commitment of making sure youth have access to all of our programs regardless of their ability to pay, ” noted Kathleen Walsh, President & CEO of the YMCA of Metro North. “The event clearly demonstrated our core focus areas of Youth Development, Healthy Living and Social Responsibility.”
Twenty-two-year-old Torigian Family YMCA member, Brady McLaughlin, shared his impact story about how the Y has supported his recovery from a coma and partial paralysis. The audience was inspired as Brady talked about his journey, from being wheelchair bound the first time he entered the YMCA to now as he stood proudly at the podium and delivered his speech. Each day Brady comes to the Y and is making slow but steady progress through the Partnership Program with the help of his trainer Steve. Brady explained that his recovery, both physically and mentally, would not be possible without the support of the YMCA.
“The evening was a total success. We had over 300 people in attendance and we sold literally thousands of raffle tickets for the grand prize trip. It was amazing watching people enter the Torigian Family YMCA and seeing it had been transformed into a beautiful international gateway,” said David Gravel, President of the Peabody-based GraVoc. “While we had one lucky winner of the trip, the true winners of the evening were the over 2,000 children who will now be able to attend the YMCA with our financial assistance.”
As part of the theme, one lucky winner receives a chance to travel anywhere in the world for dinner for two. This trip is sponsored by GraVoc. Last year’s winner, Michael, traveled to Ireland and Scotland with his significant other. This year’s winner was Bill Dandreo of Lynn! Where in the world he will travel is to be determined!
The YMCA of Metro North was formed in 2012 when the Greater Lynn YMCA acquired and merged with the Melrose YMCA. Annually over 30,000 individuals are impacted by the services. This organization is a led by a volunteer board of directors.